QUIZ – What Lies Beneath (Childhood Home of Julia Child)

Okay, sorry for the delay… we had some technical issues but the answer’s posted now! It’s after the jump. :)

We know we’ve been a bit behind on posting lately… we’ve been trying to focus on planning some events and getting root canals and stuff, so admittedly this quiz is long overdue. But here it is!

As a refresher, here’s how this little game goes… we’ll show you a spot on a google map (see below). We’re thinking of something notable within a block or two of the point on that map. Within 24 hours we’ll give you the full details… but as always, we’re going to give you a fair amount of time to guess what we’re referring to first. We encourage you not to cheat by googling the address and if you know the answer right away please try not to announce it too quickly and ruin the game for the people who don’t.

Today we’re headed to the San Gabriel Valley. Ready? OKAY! :)

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julaoverheadThe very spot shown at right…

was the childhood home of famed international chef and one-time spy, Julia Child, the former Julia Carolyn McWilliams! The stately five bedroom, five bathroom, 4,210 square foot home at 625 Magnolia was built for her parents, John McWilliams, Jr. (a successful landowner) and Julia Carolyn Weston (heir to the Weston Paper Company fortune) in 1912 by architect Reginald Johnson. While living in this house, Julia attended the prominent Westridge School for Girls. After obtaining a history degree from Smith College in 1934, Julia returned to California in 1937 and worked as a copywriter for a variety of publications and advertising agencies (prior to her time with the OSS during World War II). The book that made her famous, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, hit the shelves in 1961.

Julia Child was 49 years old when she officially entered the scene to become a famed chef. So take THAT, anyone who thinks you can’t accomplish something because you’re too old. Get out there!


Here’s a really wonderful excerpt from her biography describing her romance with Paul Child, which explains a bit about how Julia Child first became enamored with French cuisine…

“She was indeed a party girl, a child of well-to-do parents, who had never had to work. Though she occasionally held jobs in New York City and Los Angeles, marriage was the usual goal of her generation. Had the war not come, she said, she “might have become an alcoholic” amid the society life of Pasadena. Julia stood out in any crowd, not just because of her height, but because she was strikingly beautiful in a wholesome way. She was also like a magnum of champagne, the effusive life of the party, even, as far as Paul was concerned, occasionally “hysterical.” But as he learned more of this woman, he saw the depth of her character, and her joy lifted him from his isolation and reserve. Thirty-five years after their wedding, he told a Boston newspaper, “Without Julia, I think I’d be a sour old bastard living off in a cave.”

“Chinese food brought them together, at least talk of food did. He thought she could cook, but in fact she had a keen interest in food largely because she was always hungry. They loved the Peking-cuisine restaurants in this refugee city where the first cookbook was written around 3000 B.C. and the “earliest restaurant” opened during the T’ang Dynasty. They drove out with OSS friends whose parents were missionaries here and who knew the language and food, and they feasted on the many regional Chinese cuisines. Paul also spoke to Julia about the food of France, which he had enjoyed in the 1920s. Fluent in French, he talked with such a distinct inflection he seemed British to Julia. He would have been seen as effete in her native Pasadena.”

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4 Responses to “QUIZ – What Lies Beneath (Childhood Home of Julia Child)”

  1. NHP says:

    that’s a rich area, lot’s to guess from.
    Could it be the famous Huntington Hospital, The former Ritz Carlton, The Huntington Library, Pasadena City Hall or the Civic Center where M.J. first did the moonwalk??
    So many.

  2. Mary T says:

    The very first Trader Joe’s is on Arroyo, just south of this location.

  3. Kittytrix says:

    I used to pass this house almost everyday on my way to PCC. I love that area.

  4. Rob Wilms says:

    That area always reminds me of Restaurant Haile, now Madeleine’s, on Green St., that has this crazy tunnel underneath it that Einstein used when he was working on the atom bomb. Apparently it connected his office and some Navy intelligence offices, and rumor has it it went to Caltech as well.

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